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Alison Brooks gets go-ahead for high-rise Vancouver scheme

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Alison Brooks Architects has won approval for a residential-led scheme in Vancouver, Canada, featuring a series of towers, the tallest a 38-storey skyscraper

The project for Rize Alliance Properties will create 1,126 homes on the site in the burgeoning City of Surrey, south of central Vancouver on the US border.

Dubbed The Passages, the high-density 89,943m² development is understood to be Alison Brooks Architects’ largest scheme to date. It was waved through at a City of Surrey Public Hearing and third reading yesterday (16 December).

The proposal also includes 1,683m² of shops, a gym, co-working space, an auditorium, media lounge, sky bar, bike workshop and dog wash.

The six buildings are arranged into three different types: tower, mansion block and point block.

The practice, which is led by Canadian-born and educated Alison Brooks, has been working on the scheme for two years.

A future timescale for the three-phase development is unknown.

Aba the passages sectional axo cafe and daycare centre

Aba the passages sectional axo cafe and daycare centre

Architect’s view

The character of the tall buildings and how they merge to form a beautiful skyline with humane and diverse streetscapes have been key design drivers.

There is an opportunity to create an exceptional urban condition by focusing on freedom of movement and public space accessed by a series of passages, leading you to an open piazza at its centre.

This is an unusual urban strategy in North America, where city blocks tend to be enclosed and dense. Therefore, the urban design has chosen to focus on a scheme with an activated heart, bringing movement through the site and offering a wide range of activities for residents and neighbours to use and enjoy – an amenity for the city.

There are three building types proposed across the site: tower, mansion block and point block. Together they offer a variety of typologies and scale, which individually contribute to the unique character of the development, offering façade variety, texture and family structures, all contributing to offer a stimulating backdrop to the landscaped passages at grade.

We have sought to refer to natural forms such as stone for the low-rise buildings, made up from the ground like monolithic carvings. As for the towers, these refer to dense vertical forests. The textured bark of trees, tonal references from moss and lichen come with a strong desire to resist ‘flatness’ and complacency associated with residential architecture of this scale.

Aba the passages site axo from north east

Aba the passages site axo from north east

Project data

Client Rize Alliance Properties
Lead architect Alison Brooks Architects
Architect of record IBI Group
Landscape architect PWL Partnership
Civil engineer CoreGroup Consultants
Arborist Goode Arboriculture
Traffic Bunt & Associates
Electrical Nemetz (S/A) & Associates
Mechanical Integral Group
Structural Glotman Simpson Consulting
Site Area 16.466m²
GFA 89,943m²
Max height/storeys 119.85m/38 Storeys
Units 1,126 homes
Amenity 2,738m². Including: gymnasium, co-working space, games and auditorium, media lounge, sky bar, bike workshop, dog wash.
Retail/commercial 1,683m²
Outdoor amenity 3,354m²

Aba the passages level 1 plan

Aba the passages level 1 plan 

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